I visited the Qantas first class lounge LAX before my recent American Airlines flight to Sydney. The Qantas first class lounge at LAX is one of the best airport lounges in North America, and certainly the best one accessible based on airline status. The primary attraction is sit down dining with a nice menu.
The Qantas first class lounge LAX is a short walk just past the TSA checkpoint in the American Airlines terminal 4 over to the Tom Bradley International Terminal where the lounge is located. Well worth the brief detour versus just visiting the American Airlines Flagship lounge anyway, since American never re-opened their first class dining at the airport, my flight was actually departing from the Bradley terminal which made this both a better and a more convenient lounge experience.
American Airlines Flagship Check-in LAX
Since I was traveling for three weeks with my wife and daughter, we had a bit of luggage. They had some activities in Los Angeles and I decided to head over to the airport early, check some of our bags to make rental car return easier later in the day, and visit the Qantas first class lounge on my own (we’d return together before our flight).
My first stop was American Airlines Flagship check-in. I had access to this private check-in both as a oneworld emerald flying long haul international and as a first class passenger on the Sydney flight. It’s not nearly as ornate as the new premium check-in at New York JFK, but unlike Miami where it’s just a cordoned off area inside the terminal it has its own separate entrance.
I got dropped off at the end of American’s terminal 4 where there are porters and an agent with a clipboard showing who is supposed to have access. I walked up with my bags, but didn’t receive assistance. The staffer checking whether I was supposed to use the facility realized that he wouldn’t yet have Sydney passengers on his list, so just waved me inside.
Check-in and bag dropoff was quick, and I was escorted into the terminal and up a level via the elevator to the security checkpoint, where I was invited to the front of the PreCheck line.
Once through security, I turned right to follow the signs for the connector from American’s terminal 4 over to the Tom Bradley International terminal where the Qantas first class lounge LAX is located.
Up an escalator, you’ll walk past aircraft views and then over the check-in and security areas of the international terminal.
You’ll come out on the fifth floor of the international terminal. If you were heading down to the gates, you’d go down a level, but if you veer to the left you’re just around the corner from the Qantas first class lounge LAX.
Qantas First Class Lounge LAX Access
The Qantas First Class Lounge LAX is open from 6:30 a.m. until midnight. It’s a oneworld first class lounge and qualifying oneworld emerald passengers can access it.
- oneworld emeralds like British Airways Gold members can access this lounge, however American and Alaska elites can only use it when traveling beyond North America
- first class passengers on oneworld airlines like British Airways and American Airlines can use it
While the lounge has been both persnickety and and prone to making up their own rules in the past, one area they’re a bit more liberal than needed is that the person checking in ahead of me was traveling on Fiji Airways and under official rules it’s not clear to me that they should have access.
Qantas First Class Lounge LAX
I walked into the Qantas First Class Lounge LAX and showed my American Airlines Flagship first class boarding pass and was admitted right away.
The lounge is really quite large for an international first class lounge, though it’s really just one large room with many seating ‘zones’. While I’ve never seen it truly ‘full’ it is busiest after 8 p.m. (and more so as 10 p.m. approaches) with Qantas, British Airways, and American departures to Sydney; Melbourne; Brisbane; London Heathrow and Tokyo – not just for first class passengers but also oneworld emerald elites in each cabin. The lounge has capacity for a couple hundred people.
There’s limited self-service drinks such as coffee and bottles of wine available.
There’s also a photocopier for all of the lounge’s Richmeister guests.
Along the wall are also a couple of VIP rooms.
Also along that side are restrooms, as well as shower rooms.
I usually like to head straight over to the dining room for a sit down meal, since that’s really the highlight of what they offer. Otherwise it’s really just a lounge. However they’ll offer coffee or even menu service throughout the lounge. If you prefer a different seating concept you can still order a nice coffee, a drink, or a menu item.
The dining area features tables and an open kitchen, as well as a bar.
There’s no “activity” here, like the spa in Sydney. You could spend quite a long time here, but it’s not designed for this. There’s no natural light, let alone views of airport operations. And there really aren’t enough outlets, eithers.
I entered the lounge around 11:30 a.m. which is still breakfast service. Lunch begins at noon. So I had a look at the breakfast menu, which was less interesting to me.
I ordered the smoked salmon with poached egg, and the egg came out cooked perfectly.
Once noon passed and the menu changed over I asked to see it.
Naturally the first item I asked for on the all day dining menu was the salt and pepper squid, which has been a staple of Qantas first class lounge dining for many years.
Then I decided to try the minute steak, which was delicious and served with perfectly crisp french fries.
Ice cream for dessert was a miss, completely frozen it was difficult to eat and the ice cream itself wasn’t anything special. I took just a couple of bites.
Qantas First Class Lounge LAX Overall
Since American’s first class dining is no longer available, this is the best lounge at LAX. And it’s among the very best in North America. I’d rate it slightly above United’s business class Polaris lounges. The food here is better and more extensive than the American-British Airways Chelsea lounge at JFK. But I’d generally prefer Air Canada’s Signature Suites.